Monday, February 9, 2009

The Question For The Day...

I had been in the saddle for 300 miles but it felt more like 3000. The run was from Burlington, Vermont to West Chester, Pennsylvania, and I wasn’t farting around on this one with notions of taking pictures, waxing philosophical, or chasing tramp-stamps into bars. My start had been delayed by four hours of nearly horizontal rain. No less than 60 people I knew were on the road that day, all headed in my direction from a great rally. But they were old salts who regarded rain as part of the excitement of the trip. I had a brand new front tire and I thought of the rain as a life-threatening pain in the ass. They left at dawn while I waited for a break in the downpour and ended up riding alone.

Not that riding alone is a big deal for me... I just tend to get more easily lost in my thoughts, which can be like watching television when I cover long distances by myself. And despite the fact my mount was a 19-year-old BMW with narrow handlebars, the bike flew along vibration-free on the super-slabs, effortlessly maintaining speeds in excess of 80 miles per hour. So I began to lose a sense of how damn fast I was going.

The entire week had been a series of late nights with the boys. So it could be argued that I was not up to my usual finely-honed sharpness too.

My knees felt like there were ten-penny nails driven into them. I didn’t realize this at the time, but the weather was playing hell with my arthritis. The line of thunderstorms did pass, but this was July and I felt like a steamed clam in the humidity. The conditions were ripe for a distraction and I threw in the missing ingredient, a daydream in which I was handing the soap to a former secretary in the shower, an event that never occurred. (And the reason it never occurred, according to her, is that there wasn’t that much alcohol in the world. I am amazed that she knew a statistic like that.)

Such was the scenario when a voice in my head screamed, “Wake the fuck up and do something!”

The late afternoon’s humid murk yielded to reveal a huge obstruction in my lane. It acquired definition in a split second, but my brain refused to accept the data. It was another second or two before I realized there was a detached pickup truck bed liner directly in front of me.

“Golly,” I thought. (Actually, it was more like “Holy shit.”)

Glancing over my shoulder to be sure of an opening, I leaned on the left handgrip with my chin. The bike swerved around this huge tub-like thing and returned like a reflex action.

All I could think of was, “Who the hell dropped the bed liner from their pickup and didn’t realize it?” And then a really horrible thought occurred to me. Suppose I had been riding in the dark. The bed-liner was jet black. It would have swallowed my headlights until it swallowed me and the bike. (I notified a cop at the next rest area.)

On one other ride, I came across a bale of hay in the road and easily avoided it.

So my question to all of you today is, “What was the most amazing thing you’ve come upon in the road, and how did you handle it?” The best answer wins an LED Mini MagLite, complete with batteries. In the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen at random (unless one of the contestants is really hot looking and sends her picture). That’s fair.

©Copyright Jack Riepe 2009
AKA The Lindbergh Baby (Mac-Pac)
AKA Vindak8r (Motorcycle Views)
AKA The Chamberlain -- PS (With A Shrug)

52 comments:

Richard Machida said...

Cinder block inside of a cardboard box in the middle of nowhere (Nevada, ~100 miles south of Tonopah about 30 years ago. I just pulled over to kick the box to the side of the road.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Richard:

Amazing... A cinder block inside a cardboard box. My first former mother-in-law gave me something like that for Christmas once. I hate to return Christmas gifts, as it seems to take away the spirit of the holiday. But I returned that one -- through the windshield of her car.

Thanks for writing in Rich. As it atsnds now, you're the top contender for the prize.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Woody said...

The most amazing thing I’ve come across was a passenger on another motorcycle somewhere in Missouri. You see, she unbuttoned her shirt to sun herself while her ‘chauffeur’ piloted her to their destination. I reaction was to match their speed and enjoy the view since neither she nor the chauffeur seemed to mind. It made an otherwise boring through the “Show Me” state memorable.

Breakfast VP said...

Well it wasn't excactly on the road when I found it. Riding along a tree lined lane in SE PA, almost as zoned as in your story Jack, I was awakened by a large black object dropping into my lap. Imagine the confusion over the next few of hundred yards as I rolled along with a large black mystery flapping away in my lap scaring the shite of me. With the full face helmet on I couldn't actually see down into my lap so the confusion presisted. When I finally realized it was a crow, in a rare moment of brilliance, I just stood up on the pegs (what would a forward controls HD rider do???). The wind took the bird under me and out the back and it was gone. Something for the next rider to find on the road. Strange day.
Almost as strange as that dog that flew out the back of the pickup truck we were following in WVA....

ADK said...

The only reason you were riding alone that day is that you couldn't keep up with my 35 year old 500cc Triumph.

Last Summer, a fallen tree about two feet thick laying in a blind corner that I came around at about 45 degrees from vertical. The tree was broken over the yellow line, with just enough room to thread the wheels between the trunk halves. I'm still sweating.

2 years ago, a live electrcal wire a few yards down the street from my driveway. That'll wake you up in the morning.

Also 2 years ago, a queen size mattress between Keene and Upper Jay. Would have been useful if I'd been drunk or just needed a nap. How do you not know if your bed has fallen off the car roof or out of the truck bed?

On the Queens parkway in NY, the complete rear axle off a pickup truck in the dead centre of the road. No idea how I avoided it.

Route 88 to Oneonta NY, a deer carcass, on its back, with the legs sticking straight up in the air, Quite a balancing act in rush hour traffic.

Not really 'in the road', but I saw my friend, who was riding a Jawa with a sidecar attached, duck his head and disappear under a tractor trailer that cut him off half way up a very steep hiil in the Lake District, England. I was screaming in side my helmet so loud my ears hurt. He survived unscathed, but we pulled into the first pub that came along, and ended up camping in a field around the back, we were too inebriated to ride any further.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Woody:

My brother Jerry was riding around on a Harley hardtail someplace outside of Nevada with his girl on the back. He was nesarly run off the road by a tractor- trailer that kept squeezing him over.

Looking up at the cab, he saw the driver and another guy llokimg down at him. It was then he realized his girl had taken off her shirt.

Thank you for reading the blog and writing in. You're entered into the contest.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Breakfast VP (Todd):

A crow fell into your lap? Were you riding in such a manner that you expected someone to give you the bird? In your estimation, was the bird injured, or do you think it flew into you by mistake?

Thank you for reading my blog and writing in for the contest.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear ADK (Chris Wolfe):

I am going to write the full story of that ride as an addendum to this piece. Yes, I did start out riding with you and I was grateful for the experience.

But I will not be riding with you in the future as you appear to be a magnet for all kinds of big, heavy shit that falls pf trucks in the road ahead of you.

Do me a favor and zap me on my other e-mail address. Tell when you're going to be home next as we're overdue for a call.

Thanks for sending in your near misadventures. I will be pissed greatly if you win the flashlight.

Fondest regards,
Jack

fasthair said...

Mr. Jack: You know other then the occasional cow or pig in the middle of the road I’ve got nothing. I don’t even have a story I could embellish on to maybe make it a candidate for the great door prize… sigh…

fasthair

Don Eilenberger said...

Jack,

I dodged a complete pickup truck camper - in the middle lane of Rt I-287 north around Metuchen NJ. The pickup that dropped it had stopped about 400 feet futher in the lane and was about to start backing up to the camper. Luckily - it appeared his holding tank hadn't ruptured from the impact.

There are some really big potholes on 287..

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Fasthair:

You should let me be the judge of what can be embellished or not. Now a good story about a pig wandering around in the road is hard to beat. was the pig wearing lipstick?

Seriously, you should tell us if you had a pig wandering around in the road.

Thank you for readimg my blog, and thank you for writing in. . I always lok forward to your notes. Isn't each one always answered personally?

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Don Eilenberger:

Now that's amazing! You didn't get a pcture of it, did you! You're going to be tied with ADK for finding the most interesting obstruction on the road. I guess the owner would have required a couple of tow trucks to pick the damn thing up again, and get it back into the pickup.

I am amazed it didn't cartwheel into a huge pile of shit.

Don, how close did you come to it? Was traffic insane?

Thanking you again for reading my blog and commenting.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

OK the best I can offer as a road blockage example is entire 17 foot out board motor boat and a trailer in the back wood twistys of West by god Virginia. We were motoring at warp speeds cranking and banking down a particular hill into an blind uphill decreasing radius right hander and there at the exit of the apex was this boat’s ass end taking up the entire lane....I swear if the team in front of me did not signal with their brake lights I would have been chilling with Evinrude up close and personal..

Eric Ducdude

Jack Riepe said...

Dear DucDude (Eric):

Now there are four of us who hace a story about something huge blocking the road in front of us. You get 15 extra bonus points if you can tell me that it happened on Back Mountain Road, by Cass Mountain, WV.

It's always a pleasure to hear from you, Eric. Thank you for reading my blog and writing in. I think you're kis still owes me a drink though.

You're in the running for the flashlight too.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

I was riding outside of Newark DE on 896 following a flatbed truck with an assembled metal shed on the back of it. All of a sudden the steel shed got some air under it and lifted off the truck and landed in the road in front of me. It collapsed and broke into pieces all over the road. I managed to drive through the debris without hitting anything. I now keep my distance from trucks with sheds on them.

Jay Wassall

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Jay:

Once again, I am amazed at how often this seems to happen, and at the size and diverse nature of the huge things that seem to hit the road. I think you are wise to give wide berth to trucks carrying sheds.

Thank you for responding to my inquiry. As with the others, you are in the running for the flashlight prize.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Jack,

Witout a doubt, the strangest object I ever encountered during a ride was:

The passenger from the bike in front of me!!

She got a little too toasty, passed out and fell off at 80 MPH.

With my lightning fast reflexes, I had just enough time to brace
myself as my Harley ran right over her.

There was a bit of a bump, but no wobble to speak of and she was gone!!

I sped up to let my buddy know what happened, we pulled into a gas
station, I said: We better go back and find her!!

He said "No way man, she's going to be so mad, she might try to kill me."

ECO Dan

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Dan:

After reading your comments carefully, I am under the distinct impression that I am getting hosed. If you have read any of my past stories, you will realize certain similarities between your comments and my concept of the truth.

I was compelled to include them as you had me. right up to the point where you ran her over with your HARLEY.

Please be advised that you are being included in the running for the prize, but it will be interestimg to see if the hose stretches that far.

Thanks for answering my question, and for supporting my literary efforts.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Back roads of WV at night, we come around a turn with a bright glowing light in the middle of the road, turned out to be a refrigerator on fire. Kinda hard to miss a flaming refrigerator, but there it was smack in the middle of the road in the middle of nowhere with nobody around.

Irrelevant to the contest, but on that same trip, also had the pleasure of "chasing" down some girl in a 4 door sedan through the mountain twisties only to have here run off the side of the road on a straight away which caused her to do a 180 on the road...she was fine but a bit stressed. Wild wacky WV!

And one thought boulders outside Macungie were weird.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Anonymous:

Who are you???? The flaming refridgerator is a great story. Is this my old pal Chris Jacco? I suspect it is. The Macungie connection is a dead giveaway.

Thank you for writing in. Your stories are like a flashlight in a dark room.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Gary Christman said...

I was heading to Inuvik, Northwest Territories this summer on the Dempster Highway and the road disappeared. It ended my attempt to ride to Inuvik, home of the "Ice Road Truckers". Great ride anyway!.........on to Prudhoe Bay!

[URL=http://imageshack.us][IMG]http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/8472/washoutam8.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[URL=http://imageshack.us][IMG]http://img443.imageshack.us/img443/3725/washout2vj8.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Gary:

What a pisser! The road ended! LMAO! Now you have to come back and tell us... Did the road end while you were doing 50 milesper hour? (That happened to my friend Jim Robinson down in Mississippi.) What did you think? Did you need gas or anything from the town you were headed to?

You are the second person I know who rode up that way. Doug Raymond is a member of my group. He rode up to Prudhoe bay and back to Philly in 14 days.

You and I need to talk. Please dop me a line:
jpRiepe@aol.com

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Jack:

The most unusual thing I ever encountered in the road while riding my motorcycle was a full-grown African lioness sunning herself! This occurred in the late 1970's on Roemerville road about half way between Newfoundland, PA and Promised Land, PA in the Poconos.

I honestly thought I was hallucinating! I hit the brakes and swerved to miss her.

I parked the bike and started walking back to investigate. As I neared the lion, a little kid about 10 years old walked up and said, “Want me to show you the lion?"

I nodded and he pulled on an old swing set chain which was attached to the lion's collar. As she got closer I got agitated - the cat was as big as me!

The kid said, "Don't worry she can't bite or scratch." As it turned out, the lion was defanged and declawed. She used to be in a travelling circus and was 'fixed' when the circus went broke. She was very friendly and got up on her hind legs put her paws on my shoulders. She was slightly taller than my 6'-4" frame!

She proceeded to lick my face with her tongue which felt exactly like 60 grit sandpaper. I had to pull away as she was removing skin from my cheek. I rolled around with her on the grass for a while, she was like a playful kitten. I then thanked the kid and suggested he shorten the chain so the lion could not reach the road and risk injury. He agreed and I went on my way. I'll never forget the experience as long as I live.

Rick Cavaliere
Telford, PA

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Rick;

What a great story! This question has led to some really great tales. I can't begin to imagine what you were thinking at that moment! Oddly enough, I knew somebody who owned a tiger, a lion, and a panther -- and they lived in Poconos, up around Honesdale.

This could get you the light.

Thanks for answering the question and for reading my blog.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack.

I have two strange sightings to report.

First occured on Figaldo Island in Washington. A gentleman (a term I'll use loosely) pulled out of a side road pulling a boat trailer and left his boat in the road. This was not a 12' aluminum sort of boat, but a 20' fiberglass ski boat that looked pretty new. Luckily there was plenty of room.

Second sighting happened on Route 2 East of Rumford, Maine during my first honeymoon. We was riding along enjoying the scenery when we noticed a momma and baby moose running alongside the road. That would have been fine if they stayed there, but Momma decided to cross in front of us causing me to grab a handful of ABS brake on my K75s as baby decided to follow, slipping and sliding on the slick pavement. Did you know that Moose don't have much traction on pavement?

See you in Tennessee

Ben Kline
92 BMW K75S (Pearl White)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ben:

I thought I had it hard with the pickup truck bed-liner. I guess if yiu ride long and hard, you eventually begin to see it all.

You were lucky the boat didn't get tossed onto you. Luckier still that the moose didn't sit on you and your new wife.

Thank you for sending this in, and for reading my blog.

Fondest regards,
Jack

DC said...

Dear Jack,

The strangest thing I ever saw, rounding a bend, at a pretty good clip, on a summer's day in bucolic Pennsylvania, was a monkey sitting in the middle of my lane. You know all those instant calculations one does while riding? The whole SIPDE thing, constantly processing huge, continuous chunks of dynamically changing data in a nano-second, just so you can enjoy your ride without getting killed?

Well, try adding "monkey in the road" to that grab-bag, I started to laugh. As I grabbed the brake, ready to react to his movent (realizing I obviously have no idea how to predict his behavior!) a slew of funny comments instantly hit my brain:

"Who hits and kills a friggen monkey in the United States?!"

"Is it a crime to hit and kill a monkey?"

"Will he scream like a human?"

At that moment, 1.4 seconds after the monkey came into view, the monkey transformed itself into a tree branch cluster with brown, dead leaves, hunkered on the roadway, looking JUST like a monkey. I whizzed past, and watched it tumble over from the wind blast.

I spent the next few minutes realizing that should I ever come across a real monkey in the road, I still have no idea how to predict it's actions.

Anything can happen on a motorcycle, so keep an open mind as to what those obstacles could be!

Dave Case
potential monkey grinder

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack:

While riding in Wisconsin last summer I came over a hill and up ahead was a large turkey standing on the side of the road. As I got closer he decided to start walking across the road and then started to fly. All was well until he turned back toward me and lost altitude as he did. I ducked! Lucy, (following on her bike) later said, "I thought for sure he was going to hit you."

The strangest thing I came upon in the road was in Florida, (many years ago). As I approached a local strip joint a drunk stripper staggered into the road and fell. There she was spread eagle right in front of me! I swerved right, reached down and retrived her like a bowling ball, pulled into the parking lot and handed her over to the bouncer who had just came out to look for her.

As always, enjoyed your stories. Hope we can get a ride in before long.

Have a marvelous day,
Wayne, PS

Andy Terrell said...

When I lived in Houston, TX, I spent a lot of time travelling on Rt.59 (Southwest Fwy). On one cloudy day in March, 1980, I was behind a pickup truck with a load of 2x4's in the back. Rt.59, like many highly travelled roads, was in bad shape and poorly patched (which were like speed bumps) that would launch my bike off the ground every time I would hit one. The pickup hit a particularly nasty bump, the back wheels left the ground and the truck drove out from under the load of 2x4's, which dropped directly in front of me. I was hemmed in on both sides travelling at over 60mph and had no chance of avoidance ... I gassed it to lighten my front wheel and rode over the pile of boards while standing (sort of) on my pegs. I smiled to myself as I heard the sound of skidding and metallic impacts behind me. I still don't feel guilty ...

Andy, West Chester (MAC-PAC/BRR)

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Case:

I could have written this one... And believe me, there is no higher praise. Very well done. Talk about sucking in the reader!. a similar thing happened to me at a bar. I was drinking a gallon of rum and coke, when I saw a beautiful woman. I got up to chat with her and as I got closer, she transformed into a blonde sumo wrestler.

Hot shit, huh?

Your story belongs here with the others and adds a dimension of surprise that this column was missing.

Thank you for reading my blog and for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Wayne:

You are the ultimate pisser! The turkey story was good, but can't top the one where yoiu turned down a road and a kid had a cable stretched across it to contain loose cows. That one knocked you off the bike.

But this story about the stripper... Okay, if you say so.

We are definitely going to go riding this spring. I'm feeling better and more uo to riding.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Andy:

I have no problem seeing you jump the stack of 2x4s, while wearing that shit-eating grin. Still I am sure there was a split holy-shit second where the outcome was in doubt. I have to tell you I didn't expect nearly so many interesting stories about this topic.

It's great hearing from you. Thanks for reading my blog and answering my question.

Fondest regards,
Jack

DC said...

Dear Jack,

Thanks for the high praise. I know that Rum n Coke darling of which you speak. She always manages to find her way into every pub I spend a couple hours in. Uncanny beast she.

I rode to work today for my first ride of '09, and I see on the radar that it's about to rain for my ride home. Sounds about right...

See you at breakfast this Sunday if the wx is not too shitty.

DC

Don Eilenberger said...

Jack, you asked:

Dear Don Eilenberger:

Now that's amazing! You didn't get a pcture of it, did you! You're going to be tied with ADK for finding the most interesting obstruction on the road. I guess the owner would have required a couple of tow trucks to pick the damn thing up again, and get it back into the pickup.

I am amazed it didn't cartwheel into a huge pile of shit.

Don, how close did you come to it? Was traffic insane?

Thanking you again for reading my blog and commenting.

Fondest regards,
Jack

No photo - but it was the talk of the flea-market I was heading to at the Metuchen BMW dealer. I luckily was in the fast lane for some obscure reason (likely following someone going too fast).

There wasn't much traffic - which for that stretch of I-287 is very unusual - but it was early Saturday AM.

I came within feet of it - fast lane - and it was in the middle lane.

I've always had a "refrigerator" rule when riding.. never go faster than you can stop if you suddenly encounter a refrigerator in the road. Guess I could add in a picup truck camper.

BTW - when is your birthday Slider ride? I want to publicise it in our club newsletter..

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Don:

It's still harrowing, even with the explanation.

I am celebrating my birthday at the Tom's River White Castle on Saturday, March 28, 2009. I will buy 55 sliders and hand them out to the crowd.

You know the deal. Thank you for making such a big deal about this.

Fondest regards,
Jack

irondad said...

A dead body. Death by gunshot wound. I was on a police bike. I knew the body was there. A passing citizen called it in. Why was the citizen there? Not your beaten path kind of place, if you know what I mean. How did they call? Cell phones were just being born in the mid 80's. Too many questions. Those are the kind of calls you want to get to quickly. It was out of Yakima, Washington on a little side road in the desert.

The trouble was that my understanding of where the body was got messed up by either a hiccup in my brain, a fart at dispatch, or a bubble in the caller's message. Riding hard to where I thought the body was, I saw these dim tail lights coming up fast. They weren't moving at all, so I must have been zipping right along. Do you know how dark it is in the desert with no moon out? Adrenaline suddenly replacing boredom was making me crazy.

Right by the car, in dark clothing, a stick figure jumped out into my "B-Rays" ( the flashy thingies on the bike ). The sudden realization that I needed to stop RIGHT NOW and the urge to defecate forcefully hit me at the exact same time.

What's funny is that I very briefly wondered why I was worried about hitting the body. After all, others had already caused its unfortunate demise. However, I'd never run over someone before and didn't know what it would do to the old Kawasaki. I'd still like to try it someday. Just for exploratory purposes, that is. Let me know if you hear of any volunteers.

On top of that, the detectives would have been extremely pissed about me messing up evidence. They were actually smart enough to be able to tell what kind of tire tracks were on a body.

So, with every orifice in my body puckered, ( fighting that sudden urge I told you about earlier ) I hauled the bike down. The rear of the bike fishtailed pretty badly as the rear tire skidded. No ABS on that bike. At least my mind was distracted from other urges as I was trying to judge when the rear tire was right underneath me so I could release the brake and try it again.

I wrenched my knee at the end, but for all the citizen knew, all of us macho motor cops dismounted like that.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Irondad;

Well if that don't beat all! We've just about covered everything in this column now. From a box with a cinderblock in it, to a stiff that should have been in a box. It is amazing how many of these "obstructions" could have been life-threatening. More amazing still is the number of riders who all have a good "obstruction" in the road story.

They talk about dodging stuff in the road in the MSF courses, but it suddenly becomes apparent just how diverse the objects in the road can be.

Thank you for reading my blog and participating in the contest.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack;

The strangest thing I ever encountered in the road while driving a motorcycle? If road can be defined as a motocross track, it would be Jim Ellenberg lying prone with Doug Wilson's knobby tire marks across his helmet.

I managed to miss him just fine, but Doug rode over Jimmy's head which was luckily encased in a spiffy new Bell helmet. Not that Jimmy's head would have been damaged, helmet or no, as diamond cutters have been known to use his head as a work bench.

Doug's knobby tire left very visible and obvious tire marks on his helmet. It was something amazing to see. - Furn

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Furn:

Do you mean to tell me that "Big Jim" Ellenberg fell off another bike? He does seem to make a habit out of this. You know, he showed me this tar spot on the road and claimed it was the cause of his last accident, the one in which he fell on his ass. Furn, it was the size of fucking dime. In fact, you wouldn't have seen it if he had put a nickel over it.

And I am not surprised to learn that you simply sweved around "Big Jim" and continued on your ride.

It is always great to hear from you, Furn. Thank you for reading my blog and for writing in with this little adventure. I will torture "Big Jim" with it relentlessly.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack:

The most amazing thing I ever came across in the road was a naked guy. He had washboard abs and really big guns. He'd been swimming in a creek and crossed the road in front of me on a blind curve. I was in West Virginia. There appeared to be a tent in the woods on the other side of the road. I thnk he thought I was a guy. I clamped on the binders and came to a stop, sliding the back wheel. He saw I was a women when I raised my visor.

"I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't hear you coming."

"Don't flatter yourself," I answered. "I was only breathing heavy."

He did have a really nice ass, though.

You write the coolest blog. I like how you cover cover ride reports, funny stories, intellectual stuff, and really wicked lies. I was a little disappointed when I saw your picture. I always thought you were kidding when you described yourself, but you are really fat! You do have a face, that is sexy in strange way. You kind of remind me of some cute, little animal. I think it would be fun to ride with you. Are you doing that cabin trip to that place in Maryland again, this spring? It isn't far from where I live. Maybe I'll run into you.

In some of your stories, you manage to get laid. Have you ever been fucked by a woman who rode her own bike? That would make a good "ride" report.

Joannie

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Joannie:

We have a consolation prize for this contest. It is a Twisted Roads tee shirt. As it stands now, you have won the consolation prize. It comes with free installation.

I'll have it at the cabin, on the third weekend in April, at Elk Neck State Park. I dare you.

Thank you for writing in.

Jack

BMW-Dick said...

Dear Jack:
You and I have encountered lots of frightening road messes – from simple three-inch- thick gravel patches in the twisties of the Blue Ridge Parkway to pieces of deer, small animals and birds, slow-driving Harley riders and Recreation vehicles, Mack Harrell, Brian Curry, David Hardgrove, blind women driving mini-vans, and lots more. Although I have often told you that you are the greatest impediment to my riding, that simply is an exaggeration.
For me the most frightening encounter was with the Mysterious Magnetic Boulders of Lower Macungie. They are insidious, because they look like any other boulders, but as soon as you come within range, they lock on your ride and suck it in like the Millennium Falcon being sucked into a Death Star.
On May 25th of last year, one of these deadly boulders locked in on my F800ST, sucked it in, and led to its being totaled and to my riding season being curtailed by a series of injuries that made me feel like you do on a good day.
I have included a photo of the boulder that committed this criminal act. It should be hanging on the wall at the Post Office.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Mr. Bregstein:

There was no need to ride into a boulder to try and win this contest, as I have a flashlight wrapped up for you as a Christmas present. It was a choice of this gray Mini MagLite to match your bike, or a very expensive bottle of rare Scotch.

Your safety comes first. HaHaHaHaHaHaHa!

Meet me at the Himalayan Exotic India Restaurant on Friday, February 13th, at 12 (noon) sharp to get it. Please bring me a gift worth approximately $16.99, or a new Nolan helmet with the internal sunshield, whichever is more expensive, so I can unwrap something too.

Thank you for reading this blog, and writing in your obstruction experience.

Fondest regards,
Jack

John Ashford said...

Nice read Jack. So far the only thing interesting I've seen was the live possum I hit and ran over.
I'll be writing a post about it soon.

Ride on,
Torch

bobskoot said...

Jack Riepe said: "I am celebrating my birthday at the Tom's River White Castle on Saturday, March 28, 2009. I will buy 55 sliders and hand them out to the crowd."

I think that this is a subliminal hint . . . hmmm Fifty-Five

I've been banging my head against the wall trying to come up with something I came across on the road, but like my mind, "nothing"

I remember a time many years ago I was coming home late one night, after dark. The sun was down, street lights were on and I glanced over to the side of the road behind some shrubs to notice an unclad girl standing on the sidewalk. I rubbed my eyes a few times and gave myself a few pinches to make sure I was still awake. I should have put on the brakes, but suddenly it occurred to me to go around the block. I swung around and went up and down the streets, the lane, zig jagged and "nothing" . Never saw her again. I think if I had known about those Harp seals eyes back then, and my name was Jack Riepe, things could have turned out differently.

Looks like I have to purchase my own Mag-Light.

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear John Ashford:

Think hard! Was the possum 40 feet long? Did it have a small child in its mouth? Could the possum talk? Was the possum wearing a business suit? With a little effort, you could have taken the lead here. But then again, I can understand how you'd feel funny exaggerating or lying on this blog.

Thank you for writing in.

Fondest regards,
Jack

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Bobskoot:

What the hell took you so long? You're like the last entry for this post. Dom Chang didn't post at all. Ans the sage from Key West apparently never saw anything odd in the road their either.

Bob, you are winner in an earlier contest, despite the fact that just mailed the award to you TODAY. I can't believe you sent me your addrss two months ago. You did better than a flashlight. Work has me running circles these days, and by the end of the day, I have no strength for anything.

Fondest regards,
Jack
Thanks for writing in.

Fondest regards,

bobskoot said...

Jack:

you know the OL' saying. "save the best for last", unless of course, you come from a BIG family. (I mean big, NOT BIG)

I was trying to think of something Sage to say, but then my mind got sidetracked, and some how now, I am last. I think that I am the King of Flashlights, perhaps I shall send you one as soon as the battery runs out.

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

ps: as for our friend down in KW, it's probably ONLY 55F down there and he is too FROZEN to use his keyboard

Anonymous said...

Hi Jack,

I just finished reading the Juice Run post, and am glad that I had pissed before reading it or I would have wet myself.

Back in September 2000 my then new wife (we had gotten married just 3 days before) and I were riding in either Kentucky or Tennessee along a super slab. Not much traffic out, and it was late in the day. Off in the distance I saw this large lump of fur in the middle of my lane, so I checked out the left lane to make sure it was clear and swung out to clear said furry lump in the road by a foot or two. Damn if what I thought was a dead furry animal was really alive and was a very large ground hog! Just as I was coming around the ‘grundswine’ stood up on it’s hind legs and looked like it was going to leap up at me. Eve was following me and said that the groundhog stood up and was up almost as high as the tops of my side bags. She said that my reaction was a picture of overreaction as I saw the damn thing stand up I jerked out to the left by 4 – 5 feet. She said that the groundhog looked rather pissed off and she made sure to swing way to the left around him.

Much much further back out in California I was rolling into Barstow at night after crossing the Mojave from Fresno. This was back in 1990 and the route was a two lane that followed the nap of the earth, but ran straight as an arrow (now a nice engineered level 4 lane slab). I was on a Honda CB900C and had been rocketing across the dark desert at 90+ (had no idea how fast, since the spedo stopped at the federal mandated 85) from the entrance to Edwards AFB to Barstow and dodged a few critters who has chosen to cross the road. On the approach to Barstow the road rises and makes a l-o-n-g sweeping right turn around the tail end hills of the Sierras. About halfway around the long 2 mile curve came a semi tractor, and just as quick was a car that decided it was a great time to pass the truck. In the time I had to say “shit” there was this car in my lane. The shoulders were shit at the time, and I was running at 75, so pulling out-side was not the answer. So I mived inside and threaded the needle between the truck and the car.

I really did not think, in between was where I put the bike. The car faded out onto the shit soft shoulder and spun out, and the truck stopped. I stopped and rode back to the truck. The driver was amazed that I was alive and said something about have some stones. The driver of the car was off the shoulder and stuck in the soft stuff and yelling at me. I told the driver that I needed a drink and to clean my shorts. I road into town and reported the incident to a cop at the first major gas station

Best Regards,

David K Schneider

Never underestimate the power of patient persistence...

Anonymous said...

"What was the strangest obstacle or obstruction you found in the road while riding your motorcycle? And how did you manage to avoid it?"

The simple answers: 1) a large cardboard box that I actually watched fall off the pickup truck ahead of me and 2), I didn’t.

The story:

It was the late 70’s. The Fillmore East was closed but the Capital Theater was open and booked bands like Santana, The Ramones, Elvis Costello and Talking Heads. I still had hair. I could still get laid. I’d traded my Triumph Bonneville in for a Moto Guzzi V7 equipped with a Vetter fairing and bags the year before. In that time, I’d finally saved enough money to take the Guzzi across the country to meet up with a cadre of my high-school friends who had dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco. This would be the trip of a lifetime, maybe not a Robert Pirsig kind of metaphysical adventure but close enough for a kid from suburban New Jersey.

There was no need to hurry across the country and indeed, route planning was not something I put much thought into. I could crash with other friends on the way – guys who’d gone to school in Chicago and Iowa City and stayed there. In retrospect, it would have been much better if I let them know I was coming rather than just showing up, but it was the 70’s. After Iowa, I would use the tent and sleeping bag I’d packed for overnight stays in parks along the way. And though not by any means flush, I did have enough money for an occasional stay at a Motel 6 which by then really should have been renamed Motel 12.

I veered south after Denver, thinking that I’d work west in the general direction of Yosemite. Somewhere near Gunnison, Utah Interstate 70 ended and I and found myself on Route 6 There was almost no traffic here and no sign of police, so I was able to keep the Guzzi humming along near triple digits. For the most part, you could see for miles ahead, though the road did gently undulate in spots. This meant that on occasion, the view was temporarily obstructed when the trough of the undulation dipped below the road grade.

The weather in the high desert was brilliantly sunny, and not uncomfortably warm. Up ahead, maybe 2 miles or so, was the only other vehicle on this stretch of road. It was a pickup with side rails and a lot of stuff in the truck bed. I kept the throttle cranked and rapidly closed the gap. I could tell that I would get to the pickup just after it crested the next little rise and since there was no other traffic, and despite being in shallow trough, moved into the left lane to overtake him. The silhouette of the truck was just barely visible at the top of the undulation when a very troubling thing occurred: The temporary unweighting as the pickup went over the rise caused a number of things in the bed to move around. One of those things, a large cardboard box, left the truck and appeared to be suspended in mid air directly in my path. For a second, I thought I might be able to simply pass underneath it but it dropped to the pavement, just a few feet ahead of me. At this point, my options were pretty limited so I shut my eyes, sh*t and pissed in my pants and said a very brief prayer, probably not in that precise order. The Guzzi hit the (unknown to me) empty box, flattened it and I flew past the truck, where the driver and his passenger remained oblivious to the drama they created

The post-script: I changed out of my briefs at the next service station and threw them in the trash – those stains were never going to come out.

Anonymous said...

for interesting things in the road.

How about 20 home bred bunnies at 2am on a back road corner in Norther new york.

I did not avoid all of them.

However I stayed up though the corner.

Andrew